The Fraser heirs were
shortly thereafter approached by Frank Pearson who was interested in
buying the Ruby Mercantile. Though Pearson was vehemently warned of
the potential danger, he brushed aside the advice, insisting that
another attack was unlikely. The deal was closed and Pearson, his
wife, Myrtle, and four year-old daughter, Margaret, moved in and
reopened the store. Less than a year later Mr. and Mrs. Pearson would
also be dead.
By this time, the
town of Ruby was virtually deserted other than the mercantile and post
office. Their closest neighbor was eight miles away. They soon sent
for Myrtleís younger sister, Elizabeth Purcell, and also her husbandís
sister, Irene, to keep them company and help with the store.
On the morning of
August 26, 1921, Mr. and Mrs. Pearson took a horseback ride in the
surrounding hills, leaving their young daughter, Margaret, in the
capable hands of their sisters. While they were away they spied
several vaqueros galloping toward Ruby and believing that they might
be needed at the store, they quickly returned.